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Business-Managed Democracy

“Business-managed democracies are those in which the political and cultural arrangements are managed in the interests of business”

Sharon Beder

Business-Managed Culture

Enrolling Journalists


Journalists who can internalise the value system of their employers will climb the career ladder. Top reporters are wooed by those with money and powerful connections. The long slow progress up the journalistic career ladder offers many opportunities for journalists to l earn what is expected of them.


there are many stages in the early career of journalists designed to handicap and weed out those who do not conform or who question the framework within which they work... If they fail to understand the paper's "values", their career is likely to stall on this bottom rung or their contract will not be renewed... The media's lengthy filtering system means that it is many years before the great majority of journalists get the chance to write with any degree of freedom for a national newspaper, and they must first have proved their "good judgement" many times over to a variety of senior editors.

More cartoons from Polyp


Corporations offer awards and prizes to journalists who report business in the way they like and these rewards are sought by journalists who want the prestige and career enhancement they offer. Corporations also offer perks such as meals, gifts, and travel to seduce journalists and ensure favourable stories. Howard Kurtz describes how, when he was with the Washington Post, he “was inundated with mail dangling the prospect of freebies” such as hotel stays, meals, entertainment and ship cruises.


For example, billionaire Koch brothers flew conservative journalists including "Washington Post columnist and Fox News pundit Charles Krauthammer, the National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru, syndicated columnist and author Michael Barone, and Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal editorial board" to a meeting of industry leaders in Aspen in 2010 to discuss how to “elect leaders who are more strongly committed to liberty and prosperity” with a “strategic plan to educate voters on the importance of economic freedom.”


Nobody was supposed to talk about the meeting, as the brochure’s “Confidentiality and Security” section emphasizes, so nobody was meant to know that Krauthammer, Ponnuru, Barone, Moore and Beck were flown out to Aspen, lodged in luxury accommodations, and presumably paid a handsome honorarium by Koch to entertain and enlighten the would-be saviors of the Republic.


Corporations and the conservative organisations they fund have employed a deliberate policy of nurturing and rewarding conservative journalists. For example, promising journalists were at one time provided with internships by the Institute for Educational Affairs, which is funded by conservative foundations.

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